10 Kitchen Shortcuts Every Mom Should Have Up Her Sleeve

Jeanne Sager | Jul 2, 2013 Food & Party
10 Kitchen Shortcuts Every Mom Should Have Up Her Sleeve

kitchenI used to think I was pretty handy in the kitchen. No Martha Stewart, mind you, but I could handle your average kitchen tools pretty well. Then came motherhood, and I had to learn to do much of my cooking one-handed or to the exacting demands of said toddler.

It's been a test of my willpower at times, my creativity at others. But I have learned that knowing how to use all the kitchen tools correctly isn't the real trick. It's knowing how to hack them to make them work for you that makes you the master of your domain!

Spend enough time in a kitchen and you develop your own kitchen shortcuts, but here are some of my favorites that were dreamed up specifically by moms FOR moms.

More from The Stir: 9 Strange Things You Can Do With a Strainer Besides Drain Food

These will make your lives easier ... if you haven't already hacked them!

Moms, what are your favorite kitchen hacks?


Image via mafflong/Flickr

  • 10 Kitchen Hacks Every Mom Should Know


    Image by Jeanne Sager

  • How to Clean a Bendy Straw Without It Getting Moldy


    Image via wwarby/Flickr

    Kids love straws that bend and curl, but cleaning them is a pain in the you-know-what. One mom swears by dabbing dish detergent on a pipe cleaner and using that to get up into all the nooks and crannies. The soap washes out with hot water.

    Don't want it to get moldy when the water doesn't all wash out? Ah, there's a trick for that too! Another mom uses a drop of rubbing alcohol to dry it all up (she then runs warm water through it one last time right before serving to her child).


  • Fill a Muffin Tin With Scoops of Ice Cream for a Party


    Image by Jeanne Sager

    I went to a kids' birthday party recently where the mom didn't just have cupcakes for the kids; she had also scooped out ice cream into the wells of her muffin tins, so there was a perfect scoop all ready to go on the kids' plates.

  • Use a Pizza Cutter to Slice Sticky Breakfast Foods


    Image via Ocean Yamaha/Flickr

    I always pour syrup on pancakes and waffles before cutting it, because the act of cutting it seems to spread it around better. BUT, somehow I also always end up getting sticky when I use a knife and fork to cut it.

    A pizza cutter does the trick nicely -- no more sticky mess!

  • Soften Frozen Tube Popsicles With Your Knife Sharpening Steel


    Image via StevenDePolo/Flickr

    Got a kid with sensitive teeth? Soften their frozen popsicle by banging on it with a knife sharpening steel!

  • Simple Way to Peel an Orange


    Image via fdecomite/Flickr

    You could buy a peeler for your oranges, but why bother? A friend uses this simple trick: she rolls the orange gently on the edge of a table, which loosens the peel and allows kids to get their little nails in there.

  • Freeze Juice Boxes to Keep Lunches Cold


    Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

    Keeping bag lunches cold is easy if you freeze a juice box or water bottle the night before, then pop it into the bag first thing.

  • Use Kitchen Scissors to Cut Meat and Pizza for Little Ones


    Image by Jeanne Sager

    Young kids need most things cut into bite-sized pieces, which is a lot easier to do with a pair of kitchen scissors than it is with a knife and fork.

  • How to Create a 'Lid' for a Kid's Cup


    Image via Wal-Mart

    Lost one of the lids for your kid's favorite cup? One mom told me she uses Glad Press 'n Seal to create a new lid, and she sticks a straw right through the center.

  • Use a Muffin Tin to Carry Kids' Drinks


    Image by Jeanne Sager

    Muffin tins are so versatile! When there are a bunch of kids at my house, I use them to carry all the cups out to the kids. You can also tell kids to place their cups IN the tin when they're not drinking from them -- it keeps them from getting knocked over and catches drips.

  • Spread a Kitchen Towel Under a Cutting Board to Prevent Slipping


    Image by Jeanne Sager

    Knives never made me nervous until I had my daughter, but when she was a toddler, always underfoot, I became much more concerned about preventing things from slipping, including my cutting boards. One of my kitchen towels underneath does the trick nicely.


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